“Ownership of learning is so critical to quality,” he noted, citing research that suggests if we grade children on their creativity, it actually lowers the quality of their work.
“We’ve designed a system of rewards to motivate kids that is counterproductive,” he said. Until education leaders realize that, they can add all the technology they want—and it will only make “an incremental difference.”
To learn what November believes a successful school environment should look like, watch the 10-minute interview below:
Time to reinvent education yet again
Chris Dede, Timothy Wirth Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard University, discussed his involvement in helping to create a new National Education Technology Plan, as well as his latest research.
Dede was one of 15 people on a panel the U.S. Department of Education put together to develop the new ed-tech plan. He said the panel’s membership represented all roles in education, from vendors and administrators to teachers and academics.
“We were very pleased by the draft document that came out. It is really more a national education plan, with technology helping to fuel it, than it is a national ed-tech plan,” Dede said.
The plan starts with learning, he said, and proceeds to assessment and teaching—“and only then is the infrastructure section that talks about the technology you need to make these visions of learning and assessment and teaching work.”
But one of the things he’s learned, Dede said, is that the word “plan” is not just a noun—it’s a verb as well. “If that plan is just a document that sits somewhere, it loses value every day,” he explained. Yet, if we can get a national conversation going about how to implement and improve on the plan, “then it’s a verb—and it’s much more useful.”
Dede said he got into the education field because, as a student, he couldn’t wait to get out of it. “We can do better,” he remembers thinking.